CareerNext Summit 2017 | Mary Ann Johnson
Mary Ann Johnson
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
Mary Ann Johnson is the director of operations and Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston, South Carolina. At Magnolia, Mrs. Johnson is responsible for overseeing the daily scheduling and operating of the tours at Magnolia to maintain the highest standard so that visitors leave with a memorable experience and staff members are able to meet their needs and expectations. Before joining Magnolia in 2007, Mrs. Johnson was the floraculturalist at the Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta, Georgia. For four years at the Carter Center, she supervised the selection and care of the exterior color, the pruning and care of the Japanese Garden, interiorscape of the center and arranged floral designed for President and Mrs. Carter for events that attracted national and international guests. Prior to the Carter Center, Mrs. Johnson was the interiorscape site manager at the Coca-Cola Co. headquarters in Atlanta. In this position she designed and selected interior plants for the five-building company complex. For five years before joining the Carter Center in 1989, Mrs. Johnson was an entrepreneur. Her company, Talents, designed floral arrangements for specials events, including weddings and commercial and residential clients. In the late 1970s, Mrs. Johnson’s floral career began by accident. When she decorated her home in Cobb County, Ga., with floral arrangements, her friends where impressed with her creativity and encouraged her to pursue a career in design. Her first big break came in 1978 when the executive director of Avon Products saw her work and contact her to provide floral arrangements for their company’s special events. Among her interest is designing with tropical plant material for interior spaces. She was initially hired at Magnolia to re-design the Barbados Garden, which is currently called The Conservatory. Among her numerous awards and honors in juried competitions, Mrs. Johnson received an award in 2006 for a whimsical garden entry in the Southeastern Flower Show in Atlanta, an annual garden design competition.
Mrs. Johnson's entry in the annual Festival of Trees, sponsored the Scottish Rites Children’s Hospital in Atlanta to raise money for the hospital, received a second-place award in 1997 from among 379 designers who submitted entries.